Research focus areas

Understanding urban climate dynamics

A core focus of the Urban Climate Research Center is on understanding the complex dynamics within the urban climate system. This includes exploring the roles that surface characteristics, land use/land cover and human activity play in affecting the urban environment. Faculty in the UCRC explore all aspects of the urban climate system, ranging from street-level thermal environments, to boundary-layer processes, air pollution chemistry, and urban-effects on precipitation events.

Exploring mitigation strategies

The UCRC is particularly interested in linking scientific understanding of the urban climate system with strategies to mitigate the adverse consequences of urban development. Toward this end, we link geographical scientists with planners, engineers and designers to develop and evaluate technologies and strategies for sustainable urban designs.

Urban climate and human health and well-being

The overarching goal of the center is to design and manage sustainable urban climates for improved quality of life in growing cities. This includes research focused on managing urban environmental challenges including extreme heat, poor air quality and urban hydrology, as well as the urban climate implications for limited energy/food/water resources. The Center also explores the adaptive capacity of at-risk urban populations and relevant policy and planning levers that can address these challenges.

Cooler Phoenix Initiative

Urban climate researchers from Arizona State University have been engaged in studying the urban thermal environment of the greater Phoenix metro area for years. This research has included extensive collaborations with city and county governments and has resulted in a large number of peer-reviewed journal publications, white papers, reports and presentations. In an ongoing effort the Urban Climate Research Center has created a repository to house such documents and associated data.